9 ways to fend off a Canadian winter

9 ways to fend off a Canadian winter

Jenna Simeonov
After all the food is cleared away, the bottles recycled, and once the days of the week start to mean something again, it’s time to get back to real life. For us, real life means going to see lots and lots of shows. It’s hard to bundle up in the dead of winter and brave the cold for a few hours of music, but we hope to convince you of some of our cold weather picks across Canada to kick off 2016.

High Standards from Talisker Players

January 10th and 12th, the Talisker Players are joined by soprano Virginia Hatfield and baritone James Levesque for High Standards a night of Gershwin, Sondheim, Rogers & Hart, Lerner & Loewe. Talisker Players put on a top-notch concert, so be sure to head over to Trinity St. Paul’s Centre on Bloor St. For details and tickets, click here.

Mozart’s Requiem at the TSO

Joel Ivany directs this semi-staged version of Mozart’s Requiem, January 21-23 at Roy Thomson Hall. The TSO is joined by the Amadeus Choir and the Elmer Iseler Singers, plus soloists Lydia Teuscher, Allyson McHardy, Frédéric Antoun and Philippe Sly. Personal note: I worked with Ivany on an early, informal workshop of the Requiem, and I anticipate a moving experience from the full-scale performance. For details and tickets, click here.

Carmen at Edmonton Opera

Peter Dala conducts this production by Maria Lamont, at Edmonton Opera from January 30 to February 4. Géraldine Chauvet is the leading lady, opposite Jeffrey Gwaltney as Don José. The cast features some exciting young talent, including Lida Szkwarek as Micaëla, Vanessa Oude-Reimerink as Frasquita, and Geoffrey Sirett as Moralès and Dancaïro. For details and tickets, click here.

Die tote Stadt at Calgary Opera

A luxurious favourite, Korngold’s stunning Die tote Stadt comes to Calgary Opera January 30 to February 5. Bramwell Tovey conducts, Kelly Robinson directs, and the cast features soprano Lyne Fortin opposite tenor David Pomeroy. A rare treat to hear live, no doubt. For details and tickets, click here.

Otello at l’Opéra de Montréal

The thrilling combo of Shakespeare and Verdi are heading to Place des Arts, with l’Opéra de Montréal’s production of Otello, January 30 to February 6th. Kristian Benedikt stars in the title role, opposite Hiromi Omura as Desdemona and Aris Argiris as Iago. You can also catch a few members of l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, like Pasquale d’Alessio as Rodrigo, Josh Whelan as Montano, and Geoffroy Salvas as Hérault. For details and tickets click here.

Tapestry Opera’s Songbook VI

Hear the emerging artists of new opera at this year’s instalment of Songbook, featuring pianist and Tapestry Resident Conductor Jordan de Souza. The concert of scenes and excerpts is association with Tapestry’s New Opera 101 training program, presented in the Distillery District, February 5 and 6 at 8pm. For details and tickets, click here.

Falstaff in concert

No, not that Falstaff; VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert presents Antonio Salieri’s operatic take on Shakespeare’s beloved bumbling Sir John, February 7th at 2:30pm. Soprano Allison Angelo and tenor Colin Ainsworth star in the production, alonside the Aradia Ensemble, conducted by Kevin Mallon. For details and tickets, click here.

Figaro and Siegfried at the Canadian Opera Company

The Canadian Opera Company starts the winter leg of its 201516 season, beginning with Siegfried, January 23 to February 14 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Continuing Wagner’s Ring Cycle after last season’s Die Walküre, COC Music Director Johannes Debus returns to the podium, and Canadian François Girard directs a stellar cast that includes Christine Goerke as Brünnhilde, Stefan Vinke as Siegfried, and Alan Held as the Wanderer. Hearing more of Goerke’s Brünnhilde is enough to convince me that Siegfried is not to be missed. Find out more, and grab your tickets right here.

Finally, the COC opens Claus Guth’s production of Le nozze di Figaro, February 4 to 27. Maestro Debus conducts this one as well, an impressive feat for a month’s work, no doubt. The cast is exciting: Josef Wagner and Jane Archibald star as Figaro and his feisty Susanna, and Erin Wall sings opposite Russell Braun as the Countess and Count Almaviva. A few bonus tidbits: on February 22nd at 7:30pm, the COC Ensemble Studio members take over the cast of Figaro for their annual Ensemble Studio mainstage performance. It’s a really exciting night that shows off an extraordinary amount of work by these young artists (not to mention the hype!). Speaking of young artists, the shows on February 23rd and 25th will be conducted by Jordan de Souza, who’s enjoying a bit of a breakout year this season.

Exciting stuff from the artists, plus it’s hard to go wrong with Mozart. For details and tickets, click right here.

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